Headed Her Own Way

Many have warned us of an unexpected source of false teaching. I would like to point out how that error began so that each of us will be vigilant in our own lives. It is always possible that we can teach ourselves false religion as well as being influenced by others. If we note how it often begins, we will be much less likely to allow it to happen.

This particular false religion has been developing for the last few years. It started with a young woman’s dilemma. She heard something during a sermon that contradicted her understanding of God. So, in her words, she set out on a search for the truth. She intended, from that moment on, to find something different than Christianity because Christianity did not fit her ideas. She easily found other teachings, because many had the same desire as she, to have a religion that conformed to their own ideas.

But all of this could have been avoided if she had investigated what she had heard instead of rejecting it out of hand. One word used by the preacher she was listening to that Sunday morning started this entire journey (I’m taking this straight from her mouth on a national television broadcast). Now if that word was intended to mean what she thought it meant, there would truly be a problem. But her interpretation was shortsighted. Let’s look at the description of God as jealous:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus  20:4-6, English Standard Version)

“Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the LORD your God has forbidden you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:23-24, English Standard Version)

The Exodus text is more familiar, being part of the Ten Commandments. But the Deuteronomy text is more informative, as Moses helps the Israelites apply that law to their lives. When you read the context in Deuteronomy 4, you find that God is not only jealous, he is also merciful (vs. 31) and loving (vs. 32-40). He asked the Israelites if ever anything had happened as had happened to them. Had any god ever appeared before his people? Had any god ever spoken audibly? Yet God had appeared, in smoke, flame and powerful voice, so that they would know he is God. They knew that they should never worship any other god, for God had proven he is the one and only.

As the one and only God, he is jealous. The young woman wondered, “Why should God be jealous of me?” But that isn’t the idea being expressed in these texts. He is jealous of the worship that is rightfully his that some have given to others. We think of our experience with jealousy in our relationships. We think of the limiting nature of jealousy. When we know our mate or boy/girlfriend has a jealous streak, we have to be careful what we do. We know that even innocent moments can be triggers of negative feelings.

But God doesn’t limit us by his jealousy. He opens us up to an entire world that he created for our use. He teaches us to use all our resources in ways that build up others who are also part of his creation.

Many don’t wish to learn these lessons about how to properly live our lives. They want to worship the gods of sex, materialism, ego, etc. These are the limited lives. They have devoted their souls to some perversion of human existence that misses so many of the blessings God showers on us.

And, yes, he is jealous. He is jealous of the fact that we have given our beautiful souls to vile, ugly passions. The world praises many of those passions calling them by politically correct terms: inclusion, tolerance, acceptance. When we open our minds to false gods, our understanding of all that God wants us to be and have becomes limited, not expanded.

Remember what Satan told Eve in the garden? “Your eyes will be opened.” Was she glad her eyes were opened? Did she gain by her new “enlightenment”? Or did she lose?When we open our minds to new gods, accepting new age philosophies, crystals, numerology, mysticism, pantheism, humanism, etc., we end up losing. We lose the path to growth and true spiritual knowledge.

This young woman became a mega-celebrity. Her search for new ideas became the basis for a talk show that has grown to iconic status. Many of her interviews are standard celebrity on celebrity banter. But recently, her true agenda to change the truth by which the world lives has taken center stage. All because she didn’t understand how God could be jealous.

Watch out for her doctrine. She has become very dogmatic and evangelistic in her beliefs. Her name is Oprah Winfrey. Go to youtube.com and search for “Oprah church” to get documentation from her own TV and web appearances of the things said in this article.

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